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6 passengers test positive for COVID-19 aboard Royal Caribbean cruise ship

Taylor Dolven, Miami Herald on

Published in News & Features

MIAMI — Six passengers on Royal Caribbean International’s Adventure of the Seas cruise ship have tested positive for COVID-19.

The passengers tested positive Thursday, six days into the weeklong, round-trip cruise from Nassau, The Bahamas, with around 1,000 passengers and 900 crew members on board, and are being flown back to the U.S. on Friday from Freeport, a company spokesperson said.

Four of the positive passengers are vaccinated and are traveling separately. Two of the positive passengers are unvaccinated and traveling together.

Royal Caribbean International spokesperson Lyan Sierra-Caro said all crew members and all passengers 16 years old and older on the ship are vaccinated. Sierra-Caro declined to comment on the percentage of passengers who are vaccinated.

The passengers were tested on board the ship Thursday to comply with the U.S. government’s requirement that people test negative for COVID-19 before entering the country.

Passengers boarded the cruise ship in Nassau on Saturday. It visited Cozumel, Mexico, and the company’s private island in The Bahamas before arriving in Freeport on Friday. The 1,000 passengers on board represent about 35% of the ship’s capacity.

 

Adventure of the Seas is not the only cruise ship with COVID-19 on board. One in three ocean cruise ships operating in U.S. waters or planning to come into U.S. waters soon have reported a COVID-19 case on board in the last seven days, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nine of the 21 ships that have reported COVID-19 cases have passengers on board.

Last month, two children under 16 years old tested positive for COVID-19 on the Adventure of the Seas cruise ship and were flown back to the U.S. The company requires all passengers 16 years old and older to be vaccinated and test negative for COVID-19 before boarding the ship.

Florida is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases as many people eligible for the vaccine have still not been vaccinated.

On Wednesday, Florida recorded its fourth highest single-day spike in COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began 16 months ago, reporting 17,589 new cases to the CDC. Statewide, 57 percent of Florida’s total population had received at least one dose of the vaccine, the CDC said Wednesday, in line with the U.S. average.

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